AAAS: Traveling to Vancouver
Before I tell you what traveling from South Bend to Vancouver was like yesterday, I have to confess that I kept forgetting this was an international trip. All of the normal anxiety that I would have about being prepared to travel internationally was, well, absent because Vancouver is only about 30 miles north of the border. I was just traveling to the West Coast, right?! Wrong. Those 30 miles make a huge difference when it comes to airport procedures.
I always travel with my passport, but this time I had to remember that it was necessary. It's also worth noting that you're supposed be checked in a bit early for international flights, and there are additional forms and procedures upon arrival. I basically showed up in the right places with the right pieces of information purely by luck.
I flew from South Bend to Detroit to Los Angeles to Vancouver over a period of 12 hours. The first leg was uneventful, the second leg was long but included a Ryan Gosling movie, and the third leg was miserable: LAX had disappearing signage, I was hungry, and sleepy. Although I would like to go on and on about how miserable it was, I can't. I was upgraded to first class for LAX > YVR, so they fed me, and I got a chance to sleep.
I arrived in Vancouver just a bit after midnight local time, and somehow managed to get through customs in my sleep (I am not an night owl) without being detained for excessive sleepiness. I didn't have cash, of course, so once again I lucked my way through getting a credit-card-accepting taxi to my hotel. At the hotel, I called the front desk about free Wi-Fi. Denied. I called the front-desk about outlet adapters. Confused. I turned my light off to sleep. I turned it back on to look at the outlets. I turned my light off to sleep. I turned in back on to look at the thermostat. I turned my light off to sleep…and I woke up every hour until 6 am.
A light rain met me on short walk from the hotel to the convention center. From what I've seen so far, the city is BEAUTIFUL. The convention center is right on the harbor and has been designed to let in as much of the view as possible. I'm starting to wonder why it is again that I live in the Midwest…
Tonight I will see the Vancouver Aquarium, a bit more of the city…and, I hope, its food.